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A Band Trip to New York City

New York City is a desirable student travel destination with many educational and recreational opportunities to offer. It is also a great city for student groups who would like to perform in highly visible venues. While planning band trips to New York City, keep in mind there are some excellent choices for students performance groups. The itineraries I offer student groups who want to travel to New York City and perform there include a performance date as well as visits to the same highlights and attractions in the city any student group would find of interest.

I am the owner of an educational travel company that specializes in performance trips to New York City, Washington D.C., Orlando, and other U.S. destinations. I have spent over 25 years creating exciting visits to these destinations crafted specifically for performance groups. My company specializes in high school band trips, orchestra trips, choir performances, ensembles and more.

In this article I will outline a sample itinerary for a band trip to New York City. This sample itinerary will give trip planners, students, teachers, and parents a clear picture of the type of performance trip a group may take to the Big Apple.

High School Band Trip Itinerary

New York City: Day 1
A high school band trip to New York City begins with a guided tour of the city with a professional and certified tour escort. The sites visited include Trinity Church, South Street Seaport, Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller Center, Broadway, Chinatown, Central Park and other points of interest. After this tour of NYC is complete the group will visit the American Museum of Natural History, have dinner at a restaurant, and journey up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Educational travel groups may elect to take in a Yankees or Mets Baseball game as well.

New York City: Day 2
The highlight of day two is the performance by the high school band (or other type of performance group) at the United Nations or Lincoln Center. Student performance groups may also select the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Island) as a venue. Choirs may perform at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. These well-known venues are a great chance for the high school band to reach out to a new and different type of audience than the one available to them in their own hometown. Scheduling this type of performance takes six months to one year advanced planning, so educators planning a trip like this need to keep this in mind. After the high school band performs, the group is taken shopping along 5th Avenue, on an NBC Studios Tour, and visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The student travel group then eats dinner at a restaurant, and takes in a Broadway Musical that evening.

New York City: Day 3
After breakfast the high school band or performance group checks out of the hotel, and takes a Boat Tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. When this is complete the group explores the South Street Seaport and Greenwich Village. Afterward, they travel to Ground Zero and Chinatown. The last stop on the student tour is a shopping trip to Macy’s Department Store. After the shopping spree, the student group departs for home.

The sample itinerary outlined in this article does not represent the only performance trip available to New York City. I have worked carefully to put together an effective student performance trip to New York City that covers a three-day period. If additional destinations are requested within the New York City area, the student group may decide to travel for four days, instead of three. Whatever the requirements for the high school band or performance group, my professional staff remains adaptable to the specific needs of the group in the planning phases. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information on scheduling a band trip to New York City. Or simply Request a Quote for your student tour group by taking a few minutes to fill out this online questionnaire.

Student Group Travel: Take a Band Trip to New York City

A high school band trip is one of the most exciting moments in the school year for the student musician. For the high school band, a trip to New York City could mean the ultimate in performance opportunity.

There are certainly plenty of choices for a student group interested in performing in either an adjudicated music festival setting or a performance that is not judged in New York City. This article will give band leaders, music teachers and other student trip planners an overview of some of the major performance and adjudicated music festival venues in the New York City area.

Take the Band to an Adjudicated Music Festival at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey

For high school bands that wish to compete, Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ is just a short bus ride from New York City, and offers superb stages outfitted with excellent equipment. Perform in the auditorium and spend the rest of the day at Six Flags riding the roller coasters, log flumes, and other fun activities.

The Six Flags Music Fest usually occurs in mid-May and is a great opportunity to perform and compete. Bands who do not want to compete in the adjudicated music festival with other schools may still perform and receive a rating from judges. This Six Flags Music Festivals are attended by high school bands, orchestras, ensembles, and choirs from across the United States. Six Flags Great Adventure provides musical performance stages with microphones and amplifiers as well as some percussion instruments.

Adjudicated Music Festivals Held at Universities and Colleges in Early Spring

College is still in session in early spring. Many high school bands that visit New York City compete at two universities within a short distance: Montclair State University or Rutgers University. Student band trip planners may book adjudicated appearances March-April.

Student performances are staged and judged in college auditoriums and award dinner ceremonies are held at nearby restaurants. The benefits of performing in a collegiate setting include ample seating, excellent acoustics and a quality sound system set-up and ready for student performances. Many of the judges are well known as musicians and directors of the finest bands and orchestras in this country.

Band Trips: Perform at New York City Venues

If the high school band wants to perform publicly in New York City without adjudication there are some wonderful venues to select from that will give the students excellent visibility. The company I own, Educational Travel Consultants, has booked student performance groups at the Statue of Liberty, United Nations, or Lincoln Center. Consider one of these locations as a place to reach out and find a wider audience for a high school band. Remember to book well in advance (6 months to one year) to ensure the performance will take place at the chosen venue.

Complement public performances for the high school bands with some exciting itinerary choices. Add some variety to the student travel itinerary. Many student trips to New York City tour Lincoln Center, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or Chinatown. Student groups may enjoy some of the best art museums in the world or take in a Broadway show. Students may also visit some of the finest delicatessens in the U.S. and dine at the Hard Rock Cafe, or a Medieval Dinner theater.

Most importantly, work with an educational travel consultant who is experienced in music festivals and touring New York City. Whatever a student group trip planner chooses for entertainment and dining — a qualified student travel consultant will assist in building an excellent trip to New York City designed specifically for the high school band. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Carnegie Hall: An Unforgettable destination for Educational Student Travel

Make Music History the Theme of Your Next New York City Student Tour

Opened in 1891, Carnegie Hall has hosted many of the world’s greatest soloists, conductors and ensembles. Premier classical performances, jazz events, historic lectures, educational forums and more have been featured for more than a century. Carnegie Hall actually consists of three separate music halls created specifically for acoustics, audience size and atmosphere. The Isaac Stern Auditorium is the largest hall with seating for 2,804 people. The hall’s design makes the stage the central focal point of five levels of seating and the acoustics are famous across the globe. Isaac Stern, the hall’s current namesake, was once quoted saying, “It has been said that the hall itself is an instrument, it takes what you do and makes it larger than life.” Carnegie Hall is also home to the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall, an elegant, intimate space for approximately 268 people, as well as the Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall, which was recently reconstructed and seats 599.

A NYC Field Trip for Music Lovers

Sanford I. Weill, the Chairman of the Board for Carnegie Hall, once said, “For music lovers worldwide, Carnegie Hall is the ultimate musical destination, an international byword for excellence, and an institution whose rich history chronicles the defining moments of so many of the world’s most admired and beloved artists. For the leadership of this institution, this legacy provides an enjoyable yet formidable challenge, as we work each season to devise strategies that build upon the past in imaginative ways and create essential new pathways for growth.” The brilliance, imagination and talent Carnegie Hall nurtured and inspired over the years has changed the face of music and continues to touch audiences of all ages today.

Make Your Student Tour a Success: The 2008-2009 Season at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall has created an exciting and unforgettable 2008-2009 season featuring over 200 events including:

–Almost 160 orchestral, chamber, and recital performances
–Over 40 pop, jazz, folk, and world music concerts
–Events presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute

The season also features 27 world premieres, 6 US premieres, 20 New York premieres and 2 festivals celebrating American music:
–30 events are part of Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds
–Approximately 20 events will be held as part of Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy

NYC Student Tours Celebrate American Musical Heritage
Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds
Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds brings Michael Tilson Thomas, leading the San Francisco Symphony, and soloists Thomas Hampson, Yo-Yo Ma, and Dawn Upshaw together at Carnegie Hall in an all-Bernstein program. The Bernstein festival is presented in partnership with the New York Philharmonic and celebrates the extraordinary achievements of the late Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein was and still is one of the most important international musicians of the 20th century and was known to be ‘a quintessential New Yorker.’ Student travel and high school musical tours to this festival are encouraged, especially for students studying music.

Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy

Opening in the spring of 2009 and curated by world-renowned soprano Jessye Norman, Carnegie Hall calls Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy a salute to, “the enduring vitality, influence, and creativity of African American music.” This festival explores gospel, jazz, classical, rhythm and blues and spiritual music and pays tribute to music pioneers in venues throughout New York City. Educational and community programs are also part of the festival. The Carnegie Hall National High School Choral Festival will be presented and a curriculum for middle school students teaches about the connections between African American music and U.S. History. Carnegie Hall’s Rose Museum hosts an exhibition about the captivating history of African American artists and socio-political figures that have appeared at Carnegie Hall over the last 118 years.

Additional New York City Student Tour Opportunities
In addition to this season’s festivals, students will have the chance to see a variety of other important performances and attend a multitude of workshops on an NYC educational travel tour to Carnegie Hall. Acclaimed conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim holds a series of 15 events. Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain is showcased in 5 events. Legendary composer Gyorgy Kyrtag visits NYC as part of a two-week celebration of Hungarian music.

If NYC field trips are part of your 2008-2009 school year, see music history first hand on a student tour to Carnegie Hall.

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Performance Tours for Student Travel Groups

At Educational Travel Consultants, our tour guides are specially trained to take performance groups on tour. We take pride in the fact that our tour guides are trained for performance groups. When my full time profession was education, part of my duties included oversight of a student choral group. This is where I first got to know these types of students very well.

After 24 years of coordinating and executing student travel tours, I can say that the musical and performance group tours are some of the most exciting, and complex tours we produce.

A performance group has different needs than a regular student travel group. At Educational Travel Consultants, we cater to this need. First of all, many are taking instruments along on tour with them. These instruments need to be accounted for prior to arrival at the airport. A list of carrying cases, instruments, and unusual dimensions must be collected by the tour guide prior to the trip in order for instruments to travel well and reach their intended destination.

A tour guide assigned to a performance group must have special skills. Not all tour guides possess these skills. But, it is my belief that a tour guide must be trained well, in order for the trip to go smoothly. When hiring tour guides for performance tours, Educational Travel Consultants looks for the following skills, or trains tour guides with aptitudes for these duties. These include: coordinating the set up of the performance group, an assessment of the room allocated, electrical, instrument, amplifier, and microphone placement, and the position of keyboards and larger instruments on stage. The tour guide must also be trained in how to work directly with the bus driver, so he or she can make certain that the parking and unloading location selected is appropriate for movement of instruments, equipment and students.

Educational Travel Consultants brings these value added services to our student travel groups because we know that assigning selected staff and providing proper training are key to the success we have with student performance tours.

Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com if you would like more specific information on ETC performance tours.